There are many ways a fireplace surround can be created. Stone can be used in tiles, fieldstones, or in slabs to create the decorative surround portion that extends around the firebox. Sometimes, however, something more decorative is desired, but with the look and feel of real stone. In this case, using a cast stone fireplace surround can make the sought after statement.
Cast stone is a mixture of stone, Portland cement, and additives. It can come in several different shades, and often has a texture similar to limestone or travertine, but can take on the look and appearance of other types of stone as well. Its biggest advantages in use as a fireplace surround come from the style and decorative elements that can be achieved using this material.
While solid stone surrounds can be created out of slabs that are carved or cut to the desired shape, this method can extremely costly and the types of shapes or decorative elements can be limited. Using a solid piece of stone in this manner can also be difficult to maneuver and install without breaking, making the entire installation more costly as well.
Cast stone can achieve a higher level of detail and many more decorative elements that solid natural stone can. The entire surround can be cast as one solid piece –including the mantel – that is easier to install, and therefore more cost effective for the homeowner both from the purchase point and from installation.
The finished result is a one-piece fireplace surround that contains several decorative details potentially lacking in tile or slab surrounds. Often this type of surround is also more durable, and therefore more likely to last and be preserved.
When a decorative solid fireplace surround is desired for the home, consider using cast stone in place of slabs or tile. The decorative elements and style, combined with the easier installation and affordability make it the clear choice.